He summarized what he encountered in these terms: "crowding, stress, filth, disease, and, finally, mutilation and death." This is not what your average Whole Foods shopper has in mind when she picks up a carton of Organic Valley eggs. But it's exactly what's happening on the farm, and consumers have a right to know about it.
And The New York Times had an opportunity to inform them. Indeed, Direct Action Everywhere's investigation was evidently significant enough for the Times to cover it (in its business section, oddly enough) - and the paper deserves credit for lending the matter some ink.
The problem, though, is that the Times blew it. The story - as reported by Stephanie Strom and Sabrina Tavernise - spends more time questioning the use of undercover video footage than highlighting the brutality of its content. Ironically, while the article implicitly challenges the legitimacy of Direct Action Everywhere's undercover images, it evidently has no problem including (without critical commentary) promotional material from Petaluma Farms (such as a link to its Facebook page with videos on it, now dead.)
Most of the Times piece is dedicated to allowing the industry to defend itself rather than driving home the details of the video, which it calls "disturbing" in its lead, but never indicates why. Before offering any of the video's content - which, as you can see for yourself, is horrific - the article instead focuses on this point: "The hens in the video belong to Petaluma Farms, whose owners assert that the group is distorting and exaggerating the conditions under which its organic and conventional eggs are raised." With that, the tables are turned and the investigation is under scrutiny.
Read the rest of the post here, and be sure to subscribe to The Daily Pitchfork and follow us at @dailypitchfork.